After President Obama’s lackluster performance in the first presidential debate last week, more eyes than usual may turn to the vice presidential debate this Thursday. This debate pits the current vice president, Joe Biden, against GOP vice presidential nominee, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Many believe that the Obama campaign has some ground to make up. Recent presidential polls by Pew show Romney surging ahead of Obama after the debate last week.
This recent number swing brings many Democrats’ worst nightmare to life: the fate of the election may rest on Joe Biden’s shoulders. God forbid. The vice president is probably best remembered in the recent press for imitating a black man and saying that the GOP was going to put “y’all back in chains.” Biden has long been viewed as gaffe prone.
Congressman Ryan, on the other hand, is widely viewed as the intellectual leader of the GOP. This former chairman of the Congressional Budget Committee brings a clear set of goals and a firm ideology to the ticket. He will undoubtedly be able to back up his points of view with page numbered citations of Atlas Shrugged.
Ryan’s solidified ideology, however, is subject to criticism from a humanitarian standpoint. His Ayn Rand social philosophy leaves the poor to starve and the weak to fend for themselves – a problematically hypocritical stance for one who simultaneously believes in Catholic social doctrine. If Biden can capitalize on the inherent logical inconsistencies in Ryan’s Darwinist ideas, we may have a debate worth watching.
Ladies, since the second result when you Google Paul Ryan is “Paul Ryan Shirtless,” (go ahead and see for yourself, I’ll wait …) I will do my best to provide video whenever possible. When video is hard to come by, I will do my best to describe Ryan’s abs as he wrestles his way through this debate. You’re welcome.
The debate is scheduled to take place in the small town of Danville, Kentucky on October 11, Thursday evening. The debate will begin at 9:00 p.m. EST. For live coverage and real-time analysis, check back on PolicyMic for everything you need to know.
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6:52pm -- To gear up, read what Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein had to say about his debate with Paul Ryan.
7:04 -- Debate begins paying tribute to those slain in Benghazi
7:05 -- Bin Laden already brought up by Biden
7:05 -- Biden concludes that Obama's stance on war will make us safer
7:06 -- Ryan rebuts pointing out failures in Obama administration's handling of Benghazi
7:07 -- Ryan claims Benghazi is indicative of unravelling of Obama foreign policy. This elicited a hearty chuckle from Biden
7:09 -- Biden calls Ryan call for embassy security "malarky." He's definitely going for the "Uncle Joe" angle
7:10 -- Biden claims that intelligence community is to blame for lapses in embassy security
7:11 -- The questions are pointed and heating up. "Should we apologize for Americans burning Korans?"
7:12 -- Ryan answers "Heavan's yes" but qualifies this saying that we should not apologize for our values
7:13 -- Moving to Iran, Ryan states Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, hinting that he would allow an attack on Iran...
7:14 -- Ryan flexes his biceps as he tells Iran that Ronmey's administration would have credibility to back up sanctions
7:15 -- Biden scoffs and says these sanctions are the most crippling ever and that foreign allies would never support Romney and Ryan in their hard-line approach
7:17 -- Ryan suggests looking at this from the point of view of the Ayatollahs
7:18 -- Moderator seems to be on Biden's side... Calling out the improbability of Ryan being able to diffuse nuclear war in two months
7:19 -- Biden calls Netanyahu "Bebe" about 6 times. He is apparently trying to reassure the people that Obama is cosy with Israel
7:20 -- Biden openly scoffs at Ryan saying that Obama's policies make Iran say "I'm gonna get a nuclear weapon"
7:23 -- Biden accuses Romney of changing his mind so often. BURN!
7:24 -- On to the economy. "We can and will get unemployment below 6%" -- Joe Biden
7:25 -- Biden is pulling no punches! He calls out Romney's 47% comment and the tax pledge for Grover Norquist in the same speech
7:28 -- "Mitt Ronmey's a good man."
7:29 -- Best back and forth of the night: Ryan: "In regards to that quote, I think the Vice President knows better than anyone that sometimes the words don't come out quite right." Biden: "I always say what I mean"
7:32 -- Ryan called out asking for stimulus money. Biden cackles and Ryan looks trapped!
7:33 -- Stimulus is looking pretty good. Moving on to Medicare and entitlements
7:36 -- Ryan claims Obamacare steals money from Medicare
7:37 -- Biden calls out Ryan saying the voucher program would add $6,400 a year to cost of Medicare. "Who would you rather believe? A guy who's fought his whole life for this, or someone who would willingly add this cost to Medicare?"
7:39 -- Another great back and forth! Ryan: "We can't keep interrupting" Biden: "Well then don't take up all four minutes!"
7:42 -- Biden "We will be no part of a voucher problem"
7:42 -- Ryan: "Nobody's proposing that"
7:44 -- Taxes time! Biden: "Middle class will pay less. Bush tax cuts will expire"
7:47 -- 44.8% taxes for small businesses? Is that true? I don't think so...
7:48 -- Specifics on how to pay for 20% across the board tax cuts? No. Apparently not. The moderator is frying Ryan as much as Biden is...
7:51 -- Biden says that hedge funds are included in Republican definition of "small business"
7:52 -- Biden (sarcastically): "Oh now you're Jack Kennedy!"
7:53 -- Biden finally making the case how how unjust the tax code is. I was dying to hear this point from Obama last week. Thank you Joe for pointing out that out tax code is unfair. It. Is.
7:55 -- It's on to defense. Everyone agrees sequestration would be catastrophic. Ryan says we can't cut defense.
7:56 -- The moderator is really not moderating. She is clearly on Biden's side.
7:57 -- It is on to Afghanistan. The question is: Why not leave now?
7:57 -- Ryan says we don't want to lose the gains we've made
7:59 -- Biden says we have decimated Al Qaeda, so we'll be out of there by 2014
8:00 -- So much more has been discussed at this point than was discussed in the Presidential debate
8:03 -- Ryan: we don't want a date on the calendar so our enemies can wait us out and then come back
Slate agrees with me!
8:04 -- Biden says deadline is essential to draw down forces
8:07 -- Well I'm confused. Afghans are doing the job. Right? Right.
8:11 -- Ryan says Russia reset is not working and situation in Iran proves it
8:12 -- If Assad does not fall, U.S. loses credibility according to Ryan
8:13 -- Ryan says what we should have done, not what he will do
8:14 -- Ryan takes moderate stance saying no troops on ground unless it is in our direct national interests
8:16 -- Shit is about to get so real. Question: you are both Catholic. How does your faith play into you personal view on abortion?
8:17 -- Ryan describes birth of his child. Romney ticket will forbid abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and health of the mother. Obama funds it without restriction through Obamacare
8:18 -- Biden gets round of applause from the crowd I'm currently in by saying that he accepts the church's stance that life begins at conception but that he refuses to force that point of view on anyone else
8:20 -- Biden states that election will determine whether or not abortion is made illegal through SCOTUS nominations
8:22 -- Final question: What would you tell a veteran saying that this campaign is so negative?
8:22 -- Biden: our first obligation is to take care of our soldiers and vets
8:23 -- Subtext of Bidens response seems to be that negative campaign was unfortunate, but necessary to make sure that vets are taken care of by another Obama term
8:24 -- Ryan rebuts: Obama, candidate of hope and change, now running on defame and blame
8:26 -- Ryan "We can do better than this"
8:27 -- Biden raises crucial point! Congress shoulders a lot of blame and has barely been brought up during this campaign
8:27 -- Ryan says he'll bring honesty to Vice Presidency, for a change
8:29 -- Biden says his record stands for itself and that he is all about the middle class
8:30 -- Closing statements
8:31 -- Biden says that he and the President will not rest until there is a level playing field
8:31 -- Ryan turns to the camera, flexes, and tears the President a new one
8:32 -- Ryan claims that the President had his chance and failed. "The choice is clear. And we ask you for your vote."
So what did we learn? Biden definitely came out swinging and performed better than expected. He will undoubtedly be declared the "winner."
Tone was extremely important in this debate. Emotions flowed when the topic turned to veterans and abortion. How you say it is more important than what you say.
Biden said that facts matter. Did they? I don't think so. Both candidates used numbers that can probably be contested on their objectivity.
We can probably conclude that this debate won't have much effect on the election. Biden looked good which could help him with a potential Presidential run in 2016. But tonight was not a night for advancing truth.
We did get to see a good comparison. Hopefully this inspires those who have not been following the election to learn a little about the issues!